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Letter from a member

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Letter from a member

Postby Tefilat-Chana » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:36 pm

Below is a letter that we received from one of our forum members. In it, the author shares with us her feelings about her struggle with infertility, and the important role that Tefilat-Chana played in her experience. The author gave us her permission to publish this letter on our Facebook page. It is reproduced below as well.

In its short existence, Tefilat-Chana was there for me in my time of need.

Infertility is a lonely road to go down. It becomes such a focal point of life, yet it is bounded by secrecy, even sometimes shame.

My experience is still fresh. I went through secondary infertility, which is the inability to conceive after having already given birth. I say this in the past-tense, because I was recently blessed with another gorgeous second child. The roller coaster-ride I went through to receive this blessing is the reason that I am writing this letter.

We saw three GPs, went to three fertility specialists, and spoke to four rabbis, over a two year period. At one point, my husband and I made a list of all our appointments, tests, procedures and rabbinic consultations. You would be shocked if I would read that list to you today.

But this is why I needed Tefilat-Chana in my life. Its members wouldn’t be shocked. They have their own lists too. I drew such comfort from knowing that I could talk to people in my community anonymously; from knowing that there were people living around the corner going through my journey with me, and cheering me along. It was a place where I was comfortable saying whatever I wanted. I knew I was not being judged, because no one even knew who I was. Yet, without knowing me, they could help me. They helped me get through the hard days. They helped prepare me and told me what to expect – they already knew from their own personal experiences.

There was the distinct pain, month after month, of hearing that friends and family were pregnant. When I heard someone was expecting, I would secretly cry, and then try to put on a brave face, only to run off to the bathroom to hide. The couples on Tefilat-Chana go through this too. It was so calming knowing that these feelings are normal and shared by my friends on Tefilat-Chana.

The hardship of infertility is taken to an extra level for a Frum person. Besides the many doctor appointments, tests, procedures and further tests, we also needed to be in touch with our rabbi and discuss everything– and I mean everything – with him, to ensure that all would be in accordance with Halacha. A very intimate part of us was no longer private.

With infertility, there is no one with whom you can talk about it. Sure, you could speak to a friend or family. But they don’t KNOW what you are going through. My husband and I chose to be very open with our parents throughout our entire experience – from the first time we went to the GP to discuss the issue, to when we were waiting on the IVF heter from our Rabbi, all the way to the end. B”H we are blessed like that, being open. But even so, family don’t really know how to respond, and they don’t understand the loneliness. They are positive and supportive, but they don’t understand the pain, not the way I do. That type of pain can only be known by someone who is suffering like I am. Only by someone who is struggling to conceive. Only by someone who is confronted month after month with the sadness of being infertile. Only by someone who has been through it themselves, even if their experience and story is different.

Any couple experiencing infertility needs a way of coping; a way of getting through the day. For me, that thing was Tefilat-Chana. We are a family, an anonymous community.

Some people check Facebook regularly; I checked the Tefilat-Chana forums constantly. I needed that connection. I needed to know that there were people near me going through what I was going through. Sometimes I wrote comments. Many times I didn’t. I had comfort in knowing it was there.

Thank you to the Tefilat-Chana forum community for providing me with the emotional and informational support during my time of need.
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